Citrix Online Gets Personal with Trial Customers

Remote computing technology player Citrix Online is rolling out a new interactive campaign aimed at reaching trial users of GoToMyPC at various points in the customer lifecycle, including at junctures where they are likely to drop off.

The campaign will use Dotomi Direct Messaging technology to communicate with users via personalized banner ads throughout the process of signing up for and testing a free trial of the remote PC access hosted software.

Because GoToMyPC is a hosted application with a subscription payment model, customer retention is a huge priority, said Bernardo de Albergaria, VP of marketing for Citrix Online. The campaign will use customized messaging tailored to be relevant to users at each “behavior point,” from registration to usage to conversion, he said.

In addition, messages will be tailored to create an offer that is relevant to past customer behavior. Segments of users that have shown price-sensitive behaviors can be offered a price-based offer. Those who have used the software on multiple PCs can be shown a multiple-location discount offer. Users who have repeatedly tried out GoToMyPC’s limited meeting capabilities will be offered an up-sell offer for its GoToMeeting product.

Users will see the ads when they log into Citrix Online’s hosted service, or when they land on one of Dotomi’s publishing partner or ad network sites. All Direct Messages feature a drop-down menu with an opt-out tool, information about the advertiser, and links to Dotomi’s Direct Messaging Center.

Citrix Online currently does its own email marketing in-house, but de Albergaria noted that the cost of the campaign — priced on a CPM basis — will be comparable to the costs of using a third-party email service provider for this kind of messaging. But de Albergaria expects the big difference to be in the ROI of each campaign, since the company has seen the effectiveness of its email campaigns decline recently due to deliverability, opening, and trust issues.

“We’ve seen a sizeable reduction in the effectiveness of email. Even a few percentage points of decline represents a large amount of revenue for us,” de Albergaria said. “Every time a channel that is particularly promising or sizeable doesn’t grow — or worse, declines — it’s dramatic.”

At the same time, the company is seeing increased ROI from the smaller amount of emails that do get opened, he said. He expects the Dotomi messages to be seen and read by a larger percentage of the target audience and produce a high ROI. Typical campaigns in Israel, where the company launched, have produced CTRs as high as 7 to 12 percent after an initial novelty-based spike of more than 30 percent, said John Federman, president and CEO of Dotomi.

When a user signs up on Citrix Online’s site to download a trial version of GoToMyPC, they will be presented with an explanation of the messaging they will receive through banner ads. The user will then get the same information in an email message. The first ads a user will see will introduce the concept yet again to ensure that a user understands why his or her name is showing up in a banner ad.

According to Federman, privacy concerns are minimal, since the personal information a user has given to Citrix Online does not get shared with Dotomi or any of Dotomi’s partners. The company makes sure that all its client campaigns focus on privacy compliance and overt disclosure, he said.

Dotomi launched in March 2003 in Israel and had its U.S. debut in June. It picked up $10.5 million in new venture money in September, which will be used to grow Dotomi’s sales force and marketing programs.

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